Exerting a complete lockdown on your Facebook information is a complicated task that someone should write a book about, and which would take eternal vigilance to maintain.

But casual users of the world’s most popular social networking website can take seven easy steps to safeguard sensitive personal information and prevent it appearing to other Facebook users, marketers and across the Internet.

1. Make friends with your Profile Privacy Page: spend 1 per cent of your Facebook time exploring what it can do for you.

2. Control your contact information: you should limit it to close friends or — better yet — nobody. Let people contact you via a Facebook message.

3. Your “friends” aren’t really your friends: they include acquaintances, family and professional contacts. Put people into different Friend Lists — private groupings of people who can be given different privacy settings.

4. Pay attention to photos: avoid the ultimate Facebook nightmare — being tagged in an embarrassing photo that everyone can then see.

This is a little confusing and can be found under the Friends, Tags and Connections section in the privacy settings.

5. Control who can see your albums via the photos privacy page.

6. Remove your Facebook info from search engines like Google via the search privacy settings page.

7. Log out of Facebook when you leave the site.

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